For the second time in a row, I had to share with you a recipe involving saffron, this very precious spice which is strongly linked to Christmas in Sweden. So after the saffron braided bread, it’s time for some delicious and extremely moist mini orange and saffron cakes.
I baked these mini beauties for a Swedish Christmas celebration (or “glöggfest” in Swedish) where I was invited last week, with a profusion of gingerbread cookies, saffron bakings and some mulled wine.
While these small celebrations happen from the first of Advent until Christmas Eve, the most important Swedish tradition by this time of the year is St Lucy’s day on the 13th of December, strongly linked to both beautiful children choirs and the typical Swedish saffron buns “Lussekatter” (read more about this tradition here).
To me, St Lucy’s celebrations have something magic that awaken my childhood memories. I just came back from a beautiful concert where children were dressed up in white with candles on their heads and I am still in the mood for dreaming…
And because I didn’t want to end this beautiful dream too soon, the first thing I did when I came back home was grabbing one of the last mini orange and saffron cakes that I had baked earlier in the day.
While we mostly bake some Christmas cookies usually, I figured it could be great to create something most for a change. I baked them twice since the beginning of the month already, and had a lot of success each time, so I figured you had to know the recipe as well.
Dig into the mood for Christmas already and bake these mini extremely moist cakes with your children. A lovely recipe that you can even bake in a standard loaf pan if you wish.
- 1 large organic orange (juice + zest)
- 3 organic eggs
- 1 cup (180g) sugar
- 1g saffron
- 1 tbsp rum
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- ⅔ cup (150g) butter, melted
- 1⅓ cup (160g) all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ orange (juice)
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- 2 tbsp slivered almonds
- Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C). In a small coffee cup, dissolve the saffron into the rum with 1 teaspoon of sugar. Let macerate for at least 30 minutes.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add in the saffron macerated into the rum and stir until combined.
- Sift in the flour with the baking powder and mix well.
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan or in the microwave.
- In the meantime, grate the skin of a fresh orange and juice it.
- Add the melted butter to the batter, as well as the orange juice and zest, and stir well.
- Pour the batter into a previously greased 12 x 16 in baking pan (or covered with parchment paper) and bake halfway for about 25 minutes. When a tooth pick come out clean, the cake is ready.
- In the meantime, prepare the glaze by mixing together the orange juice and icing sugar.
- Brush the cake with the orange glaze, and decorate with some slivered almonds. Allow to cool completely until the glaze is set.
- Cut the cake with cookie cuters of various shapes (christmas tree, stars, heart, angels) and place on a tray.